What the h*ck is Instructional Design
Simply put, Instructional Design (ID) is a systematic way of creating an instructional tool (trainings) to make learning more efficient and ensure the highest quality of learning. Not a tall order at all.
Instructional designers are the professionals who are responsible for creating these tools. Working with a business or a division, they can create training to fill in performance gaps or to rethink the way training was done within an organization.
Why should I care about Instructional Design
Take a moment to think about a training that you had to map out and execute. What process did you take to get there? How did you know what you were placing in the training actually works? How did you know it was engaging? Many of us in student affairs are responsible for mapping out trainings for our students and staff members. However, how exactly do we know how to create an efficient training and ensure the highest quality of learning?
Let’s face it, most of us learned how to execute a training process by using the same template as the year before, which may or may not have been the best. An Instructional Design approach can help bolster your trainings by being intentional about how to engage the specific audience.
Example: Creating a module for teaching Roompact
If you head on over to the “About Me” tab and hit the “Projects” link on this page, you will see an exploratory map of a training I put together to introduce new software to our Student Staff members. This map is built into Indiana University’s Learning Management System (LMS), Canvas. Each point on the map is a different module, which scaffolds exercises within each module. This way, a student will garner foundational information that will help guide them as they move through out the module. By the end, the student should have a clear understanding of how to use the software. There is an assessment piece in the last module (the treasure chest) so that I can know what worked and what did not work. This is an example of how instructional design can be beneficial and engaging to teach our students in an engaging manner.
ID can be a very useful tool when working with trainings. I am beginning my journey to figure out how to fill in performance gaps in some of the trainings that we do in order to best meet the goals of my department and to ensure an engaging training for students.